Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wear Your Dolphins To Work Day: April 9, 2010

A retired Master Chief going by the moniker "The Old Boomer COB" has come up with a fascinating idea; he even has a website to publicize it. Excerpts:
One day I decided to have silver Dolphins embroidered on some of my shirts, and as time went by a number of guys commented on my fish. Many of them said their Dolphins were the only Navy memento they still had. Some mentioned the fun of going to the Submarine Birthday Ball. We often traded sea stories, and we each went our own way. Life as an ex-bubblehead geezer was pretty good.
One night I woke from a sound sleep to the thought "If we can have a 'take your daughter to work day', why not have a 'Wear your Dolphins to work day'? Earning Dolphins must be at least as hard a having a baby, right? So why are we hiding our achievement?" We were in the "Silent Service", not the "Hide it like we are ashamed Service". I know some sea lawyer is thinking that we aren't supposed to wear uniform insignia with civvies, but we're SUBMARINERS! We wore beards when the rest of the Navy was clean shaven! We wore Nikes as uniform of the day at sea. We hit golf balls off the bow at the North Pole! We wore civilian clothes on watch for half-way day. We have friends with names like "Warhead"! If we can take pictures from inside Russian harbors, we can damn well wear our fish with civvies one day a year. Why not do it to celebrate the Submariner Force Birthday, April 11th? OK, the 11th is a Sunday in 2010, so lets make it Friday the 9th.
I think it's a great idea. And since 2010 is a "round number" anniversary (the 110th), I'm thinking we can even get a Congressional Resolution honoring submarines and making that Friday "National Submariners Day" or something like that. What do you commenters think? Is it worth the effort?


Blogger Bearpaw said...

I'm in. A great idea.

6/12/2009 4:31 AM

Blogger Sandy Salt said...

Sign me up too.

6/12/2009 5:29 AM

Blogger phw said...

Sure, why not. We seem to have a day for just about everything else. Let's see what Wikipedia says on the matter... considering
"official days" we have PI day on March 14th, International day for biological diversity on May 22, World Ocean Day, June 8.

Some other days that are not official, but are important to some segment of society. Towel day, May 25. World Rubber day, September 12th. Let us not forget Mole (ie 6.12e+23) day on Oct 30.

Let's have a day for something worthwhile...


6/12/2009 7:20 AM

Blogger Bill said...

I think that you guys should have a day. Like PHW said, there is a day for everything else and you guys actually contribute to the well being of our country.

6/12/2009 7:31 AM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Silent Service, aye...

6/12/2009 7:42 AM

Blogger Jack said...

While we're at it, why don't we let the non-quals wear them on their new khaki uniforms.

6/12/2009 8:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an awesome addition to Warrior Wednesday. Quack, Quack

6/12/2009 8:22 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Great idea, long overdue, but will NEVER have the military's support - - - which is why it is overdue and will never happen.

First, the johnnie-come-lately surface and air warfare emblem owners would immediately want their days, too, and they outnumber as well as outgender submariners. Submariners are a scarce and necessary breed, but we are not politically correct.

From the military's perspective submariners (except boomer riders) are no longer considered members of an elite service. Surface warfare pins took care of that little distinction. Fast attackers do not even merit membership in VFW posts. What exactly does that say about SSN service? Is it more of a CIA, underwater bus service operated by the military?

The retired boomer Master Chief has not proposed a day for wearing deterrent patrol pins to work, which might have a better chance of garnering political support.

Since submariners are truely an elite fraternity, I personally support the "Wear Your Dolphins to Work Day", but if "Wear Your Deterrent Patrol Pin to Work Day" is all we can get, I am still in favor of at that.

Finally, no one deserves an insignia day, in my book, more than our Navy S.E.A.L. veterans. If there were a wear your SEAL shirt to work day for them, at least 50% of the guys wearing the emblems would be frauds, however.

The solution is what we already call Veterans Day. Wear your favorite boat's ballcap (which displays gold or silver dolphins) on November 11th and be happy to be honored with selfless veterans of all armed services.

6/12/2009 8:51 AM

Anonymous SJV said...

I normally wear my old ballcap to Veterans Day Parades, Memorial Day Parades, and other such events. I always wear it to public events that occur around those days as well. I could wear my pin on the hat, I guess. I'd have to say I'm not in favor of the special recognition day.

Vigilis, are you saying that Boomer vets are eligible for VFW membership just by virtue of doing a deterent patrol?

6/12/2009 9:59 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

SJV - see Answer #8 at

"For sailors who served on board nuclear-deterrent submarines, the SSBN Nuclear-Deterrent Patrol Breast Insignia was awarded. This medal is one that qualifies for VFW eligibility. Orders showing the awarding of the SSBN Nuclear Deterrent Patrol Breast Insignia or a notation of award on the sailor's DD-214 will be sufficient to verify eligibility."

6/12/2009 10:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vigilis is right on with the patrol pin (like to see your average boomer sailor try and belly to the bar at the VFW with the real war vets and rant about how tough his "TRE patrol" was)

That being said, there are a few campaigns that SSNs can qualify for...not to mention anything that earned you the GWOT expeditionary medal for the young guys.

6/12/2009 10:22 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

As much as I hate to admit it, Vigilis is most likely spot on. Witness the difficulty it took to get the postage stamp set authorized to honor the Submarine Force Centennial. It took a herculean effort to get that pushed through even with the 100 year anniversary. Imagine how hard it will be to get them to honor Submariners at the 110 year point.

Having said that, I will CERTAINLY wear my dolphins to work on 9 April 2010. It's already in my calendar!

6/12/2009 10:33 AM

Blogger Wearyourddolphinstowork said...

My thought was not to get the Canoe Club to authorize the day, it was merely to get individual guys who earned their fish to wear them. We all learned it is better to beg forgiveness, than to ask permission. If a resolution can be arranged, that would be grand, but we have always been the outliers in the scheme of things.


6/12/2009 12:45 PM

Blogger T.J. said...

I hope nobody bothers their congressman with this. They (Congress) already waster way too much time while there are so many important issues they should be tackling.

If you want to wear your dolphins to work - have at it. If you want to all do it on a certain day - great! But please don't give the buffoons in DC more excuses to ignore real issues.

6/12/2009 1:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually were a embroidered shirt with dolphins or my real dolphins on my hat almost every day. This was done because I got tires of seeing the globe and anchors of ex marines on their person everyday. So yeah lets do it but why pick a single day?


6/12/2009 2:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should have been tired not tires.


6/12/2009 2:11 PM

Anonymous sjv said...

Henry, those are tattoos! We know what you mean, though.

6/12/2009 5:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are eligible for VFW membership if you have a Navy Expeditionary Medal, right? I am sure that there are more than a few fast boat sailors with one from cold war ops, besides me.

6/12/2009 7:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you were on a fast boat that didn't do enough to earn something that qualifies for VFW membership, then don't apply - go to the American Legion instead, they might have fewer halls but they have more lenient acceptance criteria and are just as pro-military.

I'm not in favor of lobbying for a special day. Let's lobby for keeping our medical care & retirement pay structure, and other things that really matter to our veterans and retirees.

I am all in favor of wearing your fish to work though. Almost half the shirts in my civilian wardrobe has either dolphins or Navy emblazoned on it.


6/12/2009 9:07 PM

Blogger Bigbill said...

I'll wear mine that day. My duty station is CVN 68 (nuke LDO) and I'll make everyday dolphin day plus I remind everyone that I still receive subpay. That always brightens up a room.

6/12/2009 9:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good idea Bill, spread some cheer!

Grumpy Old LDO

6/13/2009 12:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you were on a fast boat that didn't do enough to earn something that qualifies for VFW membership, then don't apply ..."

What am I missing: Boomers automatically earn the Navy Expeditionary Medal? - Rex

6/13/2009 10:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Vigilis, for expressing my sentiments so well.

Since I'm fully retired from gainful employment I wont be wearing my dolphins to work on April 9 next year. I do support the "Wear Your Dolphins to Work Day" but I'm not going to go get a job just to participate.

But I proudly display a miniature silver dolphin and boomer patrol pin on my 'USN Retired' ball cap which I wear frequently. I also have a ball cap with silver dolphins embroidered on the front and "Silent Service" on the back that I got at a Sub Base NX.

I think of wearing these a lure to attract other incognito submariners into a conversation and invite them to the next SubVets meeting where they could reminisce hearing phrases like, "level bubble","angles and dangles", "blow sanitary", "smoke boat", and other stuff you wont hear at a VFW meeting. However, every now and then I hook a "I-wish-I-had" or more often an "couldn't-do-that" which just puts a smile on my face.

Wearing my dolphins has been a positive experience to date although I have been called a "Bubble-head" on occasion.


6/13/2009 10:47 PM

Blogger SSN653 said...

Great idea. But leave the politics of establishing a 'recognized day' out of the equation. Just do it! It will be a special "in-service" thing which will spread by word and deed throughout the former Silent Service crowd.

But, please do not walk around the office singing the "Submarine Song".

6/15/2009 4:24 AM

Blogger al.from.wv said...

Yep, just do it. I will. I earned 'em, I'll wear 'em, end of question.

As a matter of fact, sounds like what I will do every April 11 from here until they put me in the ground. If April ll is a w/e, then back to Friday.

My son qualified on the boat I'm a plankowner on, bet he'll go along with it, too.

6/15/2009 7:10 AM

Anonymous BKT(SS) said...

What is up? All the boomer F$#s need to remind themselves that qualified submariners all wear Dolphins. I don't even know why the boomer patrol pin ever was deployed We all go on attack or boomers. We both have the issue of being in a hostile environment, but just have different missions. BTW I wear my dolphins everyday to work. They happen to be hidden because they are 10" on my my back and F500 companies seem to frown on the not wearing a shirt to work day. Also every month at the VFW or USSVI you get to wear them every time. Why a special day? Join the VFW or USSVI.

6/15/2009 2:43 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

BKT(SS) - "I don't even know why the boomer patrol pin ever was deployed"

Retention trick, in late '60s. Entire year-groups of nuke officers were leaving the nav. This was one of the brainfarts from BUPERS, to bring luster to "Hide With Pride." It might have resulted in the retention of about 1/10th of nuke. Max.

6/15/2009 5:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I got married (as a civilian) I wore my fish. My best man and all of my groomsmen were old shipmates. The traveled from all over the country to be there for me that day, and they all put fish on thier tuxes.

If I am going to a "special occasion" I may just put my fish on a sport coat.

The way I see it... I earned them, I own them, and I gave my left knee for them. I could give two s*its less for the "uniform regulations.

Just my two cents... or maybe three.

Marshall A. Justice
Mount Vernon, Ohio

6/17/2009 7:30 PM

Anonymous Clean Up San Francisco said...

Absolutely worth the effort.

6/17/2009 9:19 PM

Anonymous R. Carter (COB) said...

count me in.

6/22/2009 8:32 PM

Anonymous Barcelona Bob said...

It sounds like a plan to me and count me in from Spain. Get " or something like that. Get Dolphins to work day working on both sides of the Atlantic.

9/18/2009 10:52 AM

Blogger Connie Miller said...

Gentlemen, would it be disrespectful to wear my Dad's twin dolphins tomorrow to honor him on Veteran's Day? He was a WWII diesel sub commander. I work in a military environment and would not want to be called on it.
Thanks to all of you, and best to you on Veteran's Day.

11/09/2010 9:07 PM

Blogger Mike said...

Love the idea, as I currently wear my dolphins on my work uniform only on Veterans Day.

12/18/2010 8:05 AM


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